Nina and the Neurons

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Nina and the Neurons
Genre Children's, Educational
Presented by Katrina Bryan (as "Nina")
Country of origin Scotland
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 175
Production
Running time 15 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel CBeebies
Original airing 26 February 2007 - present

Nina and the Neurons is a programme shown on the CBeebies channel aimed at four to six-year-olds to help them understand basic science. Nina is a neuroscientist[1] who enlists the help of her Neurons (five animated characters representing the senses) in her brain to answer a scientific question.

The show is produced by Lucille McLaughlin, who has also produced the children's programme Balamory.[2] The series is commissioned by CBeebies Controller, Michael Carrington[citation needed].

Synopsis[edit]

The beginning of the programme is based at Glasgow Science Centre where Nina conducts experiments in front of an audience of children. At the end of the lecture Nina is 'contacted' by a child, who appears on a television screen asking a science-related question. Nina then chooses one or more of five Neurons based upon which of the senses is most appropriate to answer the question. Nina then visits the child and with the help of their friends and family (called the 'experimenters') uses simple and fun experiments to answer the child's question. At the end of each show the Neurons discuss what they have done and the individual role they have played.

Characters and cast[edit]

The main character of Nina is played by Scottish actress Katrina Bryan. Nina wears either a white lab coat with brightly coloured cuffs and lapels in her lab, or one of a bright yellow coat or blue jacket when outside. In the programme, Nina drives either a pale blue 1970s Volkswagen Type 2 (Transporter) minibus or a New MINI, both bearing numberplates reading 'NINA', or rides a bicycle in the Go ECO! version.

The Neurons are computer animated characters (stylised with human facial features and body, but no legs) and are named to reflect the five senses which they represent:

Felix, voiced by James Dreyfus in the first series but subsequently by Lewis MacLeod represents touch. He is green and speaks in a posh accent and is particular about his appearance.

Belle, voiced by Kelly Harrison represents hearing. She is red but also loud and can be bossy. She also the group vice leader.

Luke, voiced by Patrice Naiambana, represents sight is yellow and is also the group leader. His character is laid back and relaxed.

Ollie, voiced by Siobhan Redmond represents smell. She is purple and described as 'sweet, self-assured and a bit of a goth.'[3] She is the elder sister of Bud.

Bud, voiced by Sharon Small represents the taste neuron. He is blue and also the youngest Neuron and can be enthusiastic and easily excited.

Bud and Ollie are often chosen together by Nina due to the way taste and smell work together.

Felix and Luke got chosen together by Nina due to the way touch and sight work together.

Belle and Luke got chosen together by Nina due to the way hearing and sight work together.

Felix and Belle got chosen together by Nina due to the way touch and hearing work together.

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • Awarded Best Children's Programme[4][5]
  • Nominated as Best Children's Programme[6]

Composer: Scottish Composer Graham Ness

Exhibits[edit]

There is a themed Nina & the Neurons activity trail at the Glasgow Science Centre.[citation needed]

Episodes[edit]

The show began on 26 February 2007 and ended on 30 March 2007. The 2nd series began airing on Cbeebies on 31 March 2008 and ended on 2 May 2008 it was followed by Nina and the Neurons Go Eco, on 13 June 2008 as part of CBeebies' year-long green initiative called EcoBeebies, the Eco series ended on 15 August 2008. A fourth series called Nina and the Neurons Go Inventing started on 18 May 2009 where Nina invites several young inventors to her lab to discover how things work by inventing their own versions, the series ended on 19 June 2009. The fifth series, In The Lab, was broadcast from 27 September 2010 to 10 December 2010.

(The titles for Series 1 and 2 are from Digiguide[7])

Series 1 (26 February 2007 – 30 March 2007)[edit]

  • 1. Stars
  • 2. Do We All Smell Different?
  • 3. Amazing Maze
  • 4. Trumpet
  • 5. Snowballs
  • 6. Eyebrows
  • 7. What's Cooking?
  • 8. All Bunged Up
  • 9. Nina Needs A Wee
  • 10. Spy Kit
  • 11. Granny's Glasses
  • 12. Where's The Bad Smell?
  • 13. Wakey Wakey
  • 14. Why Is My Tongue Wet?
  • 15. Shadows
  • 16. Birthday Surprise
  • 17. Different Tastes
  • 18. Monster Hunt
  • 19. Making Music
  • 20. Distance
  • 21. Staying Cool
  • 22. Too Much Salt
  • 23. Bud Needs Help
  • 24. Echoes
  • 25. Colours

Series 2 (31 March 2008 – 2 May 2008)[edit]

  • 1. Hide and Seek
  • 2. Getting Goosebumps
  • 3. Nina's Cake Bake
  • 4. I Can See A Rainbow
  • 5. Terrific Teeth
  • 6. Touching Clouds
  • 7. Smelly Feet
  • 8. In A Spin
  • 9. Bubble Trouble
  • 10. Fun In The Sun
  • 11. Tummy Rumbles
  • 12. Finding Flowers
  • 13. Lovely Lollies
  • 14. Brilliant Bones
  • 15. Rumbling Thunder
  • 16. Nina Gets Nosey
  • 17. What A Fright
  • 18. Let's Hear It For Ears
  • 19. Making Waves
  • 20. Splish Splash
  • 21. Baby Talk
  • 22. Funny Honey
  • 23. Digging Dogs
  • 24. When The Wind Blows
  • 25. Tremendous Toes

Series 3 - Go Eco! (15 June 2008 – 15 August 2008)[edit]

(Titles from Digiguide[8])

  • 1. Branching Out
  • 2. Food Glorious Food
  • 3. Keeping Cosy
  • 4. Super Slimy Slugs
  • 5. Mouldy Bread
  • 6. Something Fishy
  • 7. Recycling
  • 8. Flying High
  • 9. Monkey Business
  • 10. Every Drop Counts
  • 11. Furry Old Mould

Series 4 - Go Inventing (18 May 2009 – 19 June 2009)[edit]

(Titles from Digiguide[9])

  • 1. Bouncy Beds
  • 2. Pen and Paper
  • 3. Loud and Clear
  • 4. In The Box
  • 5. Mirror Mirror
  • 6. Wheels
  • 7. Clean It Up
  • 8. Lift Off
  • 9. Round and Round
  • 10. Get Wet
  • 11. Sliding Doors
  • 12. Handy Handles
  • 13. Cooking With Waves
  • 14. Time For Cogs
  • 15. Hot and Cold
  • 16. Buckle Up
  • 17. Dirty Dishes
  • 18. Top Taps
  • 19. Keys
  • 20. Eyes in The Dark
  • 21. Near and Far
  • 22. Hubble Bubble
  • 23. In a Flush
  • 24. Extraordinary X-Rays
  • 25. Swish Swish

Series 5 - In The Lab (27 September 2010 – 10 December 2010)[edit]

(Titles from BBC[10])

  • 1. Melty Chocolate
  • 2. Sleepy Dust
  • 3. Rattling Pan
  • 4. Burnt Toast
  • 5. Sugar and Teeth
  • 6. Super Sand
  • 7. Ferocious Fire
  • 8. Soap Suds
  • 9. Boat Float
  • 10. Grass Stains
  • 11. Salty Sea
  • 12. Wobbly Jelly
  • 13. Steamy Mirrors
  • 14. Fragrant Flowers
  • 15. Noisy Foods
  • 16. Popcorn Pops
  • 17. Sniffing Smells
  • 18. Mighty Metal
  • 19. Sticky Jam
  • 20. Bubbles Burst
  • 21. Onions Make Us Cry
  • 22. Wrinkly Fingers
  • 23. Glow Stars
  • 24. Wet Paint
  • 25. Marvellous Milk

Series 6 - Brilliant Bodies (4 June 2011 - 26 November 2011)[edit]

(Titles from BBC[11])

  • 1. Heart
  • 2. Handy Hands
  • 3. Sneeze
  • 4. Two Ears
  • 5. Blood
  • 6. Brain
  • 7. Wrinkly Face
  • 8. Earwax
  • 9. Exercise
  • 10 Tickly Feet
  • 11. Yawn
  • 12. Digestion
  • 13. Sleep
  • 14. Eyelashes
  • 15. Bellybuttons
  • 16. Scabs
  • 17. Eyes See
  • 18. Burp
  • 19. Spine
  • 20. Breathe
  • 21. Skin
  • 22. Balance
  • 23. Memory
  • 24. Broken Bones
  • 25. Fingertips Feel

Series 7 - Go Engineering (14 January 2013 - )[edit]

A series about Engineering feats consisting of 25 episodes (15 minutes each) started being broadcast on 14 January 2013.[12] Each episode tries to simplify a tricky science concept into three key experiments which children can participate in.[13] (Episode info from Subtitles Portal's "Nina and the Neurons" Microsite)

Series 8 - Earth Explorers (23 September 2013 - Present)[edit]

This series looks at various geographical and geological features such as lakes, caves, volcanoes, etc.[14]

  • 1. Space Rockets (featuring "Russ the Rocketman")
  • 2. Grand Canyon
  • 3. Sand Dunes
  • 4. Living in Space
  • 5. Mountains
  • 6. Volcanoes
  • 7. Giant's Causeway
  • 8. Solar System
  • 9. Rivers
  • 10. Exploring Space
  • 11. Cliffs
  • 12. Night and Day
  • 13. Dinosaurs
  • 14. Living on Earth
  • 15. Stripy Rocks
  • 16. Geysers
  • 17. Loch Ness
  • 18. Moon Shape
  • 19. Caves
  • 20. Shooting Stars
  • 21. Coal
  • 22. Earth is Round
  • 23. Deserts
  • 24. Gravity
  • 25. Waterfalls

Series 9 Get Sporty (2014)[edit]

  • 1. Cycling
  • 2. Curling
  • 3. Football
  • 4. Trampolining
  • 5. Climbing
  • 6. Rugby
  • 7. Marathon
  • 8. Sprinting
  • 9. Swimming
  • 10. Long Jump
  • 11. Snooker
  • 12. Gymnastics
  • 13. Diving
  • 14. Cricket
  • 15. Basketball

References[edit]

External links[edit]